Joel Embiid to Have Season-Ending Surgery Tuesday

Photo | USA Today Sports Images

Joel Embiid was a (damaged) star prospect when he was drafted third overall by the Sixers in 2014. Now, he’ll have to wait at least another year before playing in an NBA game.

Yahoo! Sports reported Saturday that Embiid will have his second foot surgery in as many years this Tuesday and is expected to miss the upcoming NBA season, which the Sixers announced back in July. Read more »

In Philadelphia Sports, It’s 1972 All Over Again

Illustration by Gluekit

Illustration by Gluekit

Housing values are soaring in Point Breeze, Grays Ferry and Kensington, of all places. The restaurant boom continues along East Passyunk Avenue. Millennials are piling into the city like someone is giving away participation trophies. All this energy and optimism is new and deeply confusing for people who view Philadelphia through an older, more cynical lens.

It’s no doubt a comfort to this veteran crowd, then, that the city’s major sports franchises are still reliably floundering. Sure, the Eagles have won 10 games in each of the past two seasons, but the team did miss the playoffs last year for the third time in four seasons. Similarly, the Flyers have whiffed on the post-season twice in the past three years, and the Phillies are suffering from a crippling hangover after their binge of success from 2007 to 2011. And at least those three teams are trying to win. The Sixers attempted to lose ’em all on purpose over the past two seasons — and were out-tanked twice.

It’s the grimmest time to be a Philadelphia sports fan since 1972. Read more »

Tom Brady Fights For His Legacy

NFL: Divisional Round-Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

If reports are true, then Tom Brady might find himself on the losing end of a legal case: The supposed divorce proceedings with his wife, supermodel Giselle Bunchen.

Certainly I don’t see Brady losing in his legal case against the NFL, and I have said that from the jump, even when some of the sports legal experts —uh, Lester Munson, are you listening? — were kowtowing to the NFL and the mastery of the league’s “commissioner powers.”

I am a lawyer – currently non-practicing due to some other current profession that takes up most of my time – who teaches a class in Sports Law to college undergraduates. We spend a lot of time in this class on the subject of professional sports leagues, their collective bargaining agreements, and how they interact with the federal anti-trust laws of this country.

Think of it this way: Most EVERYTHING you see in professional sports – drafts, trades, dress codes, salary caps – on its face and without a collective bargaining agreement – would be violations of anti-trust. Anti-trust laws exist to prevent price fixing and economic monopolies. The theory behind a collective bargaining agreement is that both sides – management and employee – have had a fair chance to agree to certain provisions with arms-length bargaining at the same bargaining table. Fair, right?

Yes it is. Except when some provisions of a collective bargaining agreement go way over the line and they are thus challenged legally. Which brings us to the case of Tom Brady. Read more »

Awesome Sixers Color Commentator Leaves for Hawks

Malik Rose, who had been the color commentator for Sixers broadcasts on Comcast SportsNet the last four seasons, has left the gig for a front office job with the Atlanta Hawks.

By inboundpass [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Malik Rose, by inboundpass [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Rose, a Philadelphia native who played for Overbrook High School and Drexel, played 12 seasons in the NBA. He was on the last Drexel team to qualify for the NCAA tournament and won two NBA Championships with the San Antonio Spurs. With the Hawks, he’ll work with coach/president Mike Budenholzer, who was an assistant in San Antonio when Rose was with the team.

Over the last four years, Rose has developed into one of the finest color commentators for any of the local teams. He’s been great for broadcasts as the team attempts its expansive tank-and-rebuild strategy: He gets excited about young players, and he is as exasperated as any Sixers fan when things go wrong. Read more »

While You Were Sleeping, Phillies Have Been Just Awful

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher David Buchanan (55) leaves the game during the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 11th.

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher David Buchanan (55) leaves the game during the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 11th.

Despite the trade of Cole Hamels, it had actually been a nice couple of weeks to be a Phillies fan. It had maybe been the most fun stretch for fans of the team since the 2011 season.

Hamels was gone. Oft-booed closer Jonathan Papelbon was gone. Even Ben Revere had been traded. And in their places were guys like rookie pitcher Aaron Nola, Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera (an infielder playing center field) and Cesar Hernandez. At one point after the All-Star break, the Phillies were 16-5.

The Phillies won their first four games out of the all-star break, including a thrilling walk-off homer by Jeff Francoeur to complete a sweep of the Marlins. After that win, the (limited number of) fans in the outfield celebrated like the team had won the World Series, or at least a playoff game. Read more »

There’s a Reason Players Think Chip Kelly Might Be Racist

Photos | Jeff Fusco except for Tra Thomas | Howard Smith, USA Today Sports

LeSean McCoy, Stephen A. Smith, Tra Thomas and Brandon Boykin (outer photos, clockwise from top left) have all ascribed racial motivations to Chip Kelly’s (center) personnel decisions. Photos | Jeff Fusco except for Tra Thomas | Howard Smith, USA Today Sports

Chip Kelly is not a racist.

But he apparently is oblivious to why some black players may think he’s tinged with a little racism when they unload those charges on their former coach after he has shown them the door.

If Kelly is as smart as we all think he is, he cannot therefore be blind to the fact that his support of wide receiver Riley Cooper has provided the undercurrent of all the sniping done by the likes of LeSean McCoy, Tre Thomas, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith, and, last but not least, recently deposed cornerback Brandon Boykin.

And his response this week to the Riley issue was an insult to every reasonably minded fan in the Delaware Valley. Read more »

Meet the New Phillies Prospects

Photos via USA Today Sports Images and Twitter

Photos via USA Today Sports Images and Twitter

Last week, just ahead of the July 31st Major League Baseball trade deadline, the Phillies made some moves to shore up their farm system. The big haul, of course, came in exchange for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman, but trades sending Jonathan Papelbon and Ben Revere to Washington and Toronto, respectively, also added potentially useful pieces to the Phillies minor league system.

That’s good and all, especially when the fifth-place Phillies are rebuilding for the future, but prospects are just that: prospects. They are full of potential, but the overwhelming majority don’t end up in All-Star Games, if they even make it to the show.

We know who the Phillies are getting — catcher Jorge Alfaro, pitcher Jake Thompson, and outfielder Nick Willams are the major pieces from the Hamels deal. Now the question is, what are the Phillies getting? Where will these players fit into the Phillies’ bigger plans, and how limitless, or limited, is their potential?

Here, we break down what the major baseball scouting outlets are saying about each fresh face on the Phillies Pharm. Read more »

WATCH: Jimmy Rollins Gets Standing Ovation in Return to Citizens Bank Park

 Jimmy Rollins acknowledges the crowd before his at bat during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Jimmy Rollins acknowledges the crowd before his at bat during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Last December, the Phillies began their dismantling of the core that brought them five straight division titles, two pennants and a World Series when they traded Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers. Rollins later said he was now “free” at his new team.

Last night, the Dodgers visited Philadelphia for the first time since the trade, and Rollins was penciled in to the leadoff spot against his former team. The crowd responded by giving him a standing ovation before the first at-bat of the game. Players from the Phillies dugout (and on the field) similarly cheered him.

“It was cool,” Rollins told reporters postgame. “And it went longer than I thought. It was a great moment.”

Read more »

Report: Phillies Trade Ben Revere to Blue Jays

Ben Revere gives a hand signal to shortstop Andres Blanco (not pictured) after his home run during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Revere gives a hand signal to shortstop Andres Blanco (not pictured) after his home run during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

According to MLB.com Phillies beat guy Todd Zolecki, the Phillies have traded centerfielder Ben Revere to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Phillies’ return has not yet been reported.

Revere came to the Phillies as part of a trade with the Minnesota Twins in the 2013 offseason. The Phillies sent Vance Worley (who was just designated for assignment by the Pirates) and Trevor May to the Twins to get Revere.

Revere played just 88 games in his first season with the Phillies, due to injuries, including a fractured food midway through the year that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. He hit .306 in his second season with the Phillies and stole 49 bases; he also hit his first major league home run last season. Read more »

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